March 15, 2019
In addition to his career in public policy, Todd Foy '12 has run in two Boston Marathons, and has raised more than $27,000 for the causes he believes in.
Every Monday night, you’ll find Todd Foy ’12 serving dinner at the Boston Living Center, a nonprofit community and resource center that fosters the wellness of HIV-positive people. A professional whose career has centered around community health and public policy, Foy has become an expert at blending the personal and professional—and finding a balance.
“It’s my way to stay connected and to remember this is why I do what I do,” says Foy, who’s currently manager of government affairs and public policy at the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers in Boston. “I like to stay involved in those causes because they give me a human connection.”
At the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, Foy advocates for increased access to health care in the Commonwealth, particularly for underserved populations. This brings him into contact with health center CEOs, legislators on Beacon Hill, and of course, the people he’s serving.
“You can always find a way to put something in perspective,” Foy says of his advocacy work. “We try to bring patients and CEOs in to meet people. If you can add a human quality to an issue, it’s a lot harder to ignore.”
Foy’s love of public policy and health-centered work began with a capstone internship in then-U.S. Senator John Kerry’s Washington, D.C., office. MCLA administrators and faculty, including former MCLA President Mary K. Grant, helped find scholarship money for Foy. “That experience catapulted a lot of the opportunities I’ve had since,” he said, “And I wouldn’t have gone if not for that.”
A political science major, Foy was also on MCLA Student Government all four years—“I was that kid,” he says. Helping organize students’ response to issues affecting them whet his interest in activism and public policy. It also connected him with MCLA staffer Jenn Labbance, who has served as a mentor and sounding board; they still communicate regularly.
After college, Foy’s first job was with former State Senator Benajmin Downing—he was hired right as the North Adams Hospital closed. The job exposed him to the importance of community health care, and the role small hospitals play for so many residents.
To get a deeper perspective, Foy spent several years at Boston Health Care for the Homeless, working on HIV prevention and other community health initiatives. “That was my attempt at trying to understand these health care issues. Policy often feels like an ivory tower—there’s not a lot of knowledge or boots on the ground,” Foy says. After spending time in nursing school but ultimately deciding it wasn’t for him, he found his role at the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers.
This spring, you may find Foy running for charity—he’s run in two Boston Marathons, and has raised more than $27,000 for the causes he believes in, including racial equity, fighting homelessness, and HIV prevention. He’s also exploring ways to support LGBT youth, including through scholarship opportunities at MCLA.
“I want to make sure people who come after me, students like me who identify as LGBT, have these extra resources,” he says. “I’d love to keep adding to what the college is able to offer.”